I work with a number of families who need assistance with developing a plan for either their own care or the care of their parents. Some of those individuals are able to live independently at home, by themselves, without any health care requirements. Some of those individuals are able to live at home independently and have a few health care requirements but are able to pay for those health care requirements from their own income and assets. Then there are those individuals who wish to live independently at home but need to live with a family member and require health care assistance which they can not afford. Even though a nursing home can be an option, these individuals do not wish to go to a nursing home for assistance. The good news is there is a program in the State of Ohio that will assist these individuals so that they can remain in their own homes and obtain help in paying for those health care services. This program is called Passport.
Ohio’s Passport Medicaid Waiver Program helps Medicaid-eligible individuals obtain health care services which they need in order to allow them to stay in their own homes. The Passport Program is a two-part process. The first part involves the individual being screened to determine their initial Medicaid eligibility as well as their health care needs. During this initial screening, a number of options are discussed with the individual and/or his or her family.
The second part of the Passport Program is actually receiving health care assistance while at home. This begins after the individual is determined to be eligible, and a caseworker then works with the individual and his or her family to develop a plan to obtain local health care services by local providers. The caseworker then can assist the family with this plan after it is implemented, and also monitors this plan with the individual and/or the family.
In order for an individual to qualify for Passport, the individual must:
- Be age 60 or older;
- Be qualified for Medicaid institutional care. This means that the individual cannot have more than approximately $2,000.00 of income and no more than $1,500.00 in countable assets;
- Require a nursing home level of care; and
- Be able to remain in his or her home. This decision usually requires a doctor to give an opinion about the individual’s ability to live at home.
If you are an individual in this type of circumstance, or you are a loved one of an individual who is in this type of situation, you should contact your local elder law attorney who can assist you with discussing all of the options and developing a plan. This plan may include the Passport Program.
NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.
James F. Contini II, Esq.
Certified Specialist in Estate Planning,
Trust & Probate Law by the OSBA
Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., LPA
158 North Broadway
New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663